Netanyahu, in a live statement, says: “On the eve of Hanukkah, we’ve brought a great light to Israel,” referring to the first delivery of vaccines.
“It’s not to be taken for granted that Israel, which is… a small country with 9 million citizens should receive the vaccines at the same time as Britain and the leading countries in the world.”
“This is a great achievement for Israel, I am very proud of it,” he says.
“I ask all Israelis to get vaccinated,” says Netanyahu, adding that he’ll do it first.
Netanyahu says the first vaccines will be administered on December 27.
He says Israel will able to vaccinate 60,000 a day.
Netanyahu repeats that those vaccinated will be given privileges, such as access to malls and other sites.
He says the end of the pandemic is in sight.
Netanyahu adds: “It’s possible we will need to tighten some of the restrictions in the coming days.”
Edelstein: “We’ll vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Israelis in coming weeks”
In a live press statement, Health Minister Yuli Edelstein says that quarantine will be reduced to 10 days, on condition that people receive two negative tests.
Edelstein hails the first vaccine shipments that arrived in Israel today, likening it to the Hanukkah miracle.
“Something that seemed like a dream… that we thought could happen in June, July” is happening now, he says.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis can be vaccinated in the next few weeks, he says.
“Soon, millions of additional vaccines will arrive, from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and other companies,” he says.
Edelstein says all those who receive the shot will receive a “green passport” allowing them to move around freely.
“The more people get vaccinated, the more the economy can reopen,” he says, urging Israelis to get the shot.
The health minister calls on Israelis not to gather on Hanukkah.